Archive for October, 2010

Fine Motor work with Pennies

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

These are fun activities – but close monitoring will be needed since working with objects that could be placed in young peoples mouths.


Using a bucket with water in it – place 10 to 20 pennies in the bottom – have the student collect the pennies one at a time and place on a paper towel or wash cloth.


Using a container of dry oats ( remove some of the oats so they do not spill all over the place when the student is digging in the container) – add 10 – 20 pennies into the oat container. This is a very ‘textural’ activity. Shake the container – so the pennies will be ‘floating’ throughout the oats. Have the student pick out each of the pennies.


Same ‘game’ as above – but instead of using oats – use play dough. Hide 10 – 20 pennies inside of the dough prior to giving the student the glob of dough and have them pick them out. On the opposite end – give the student a mound of claydoh and have them insert the pennies or stick the pennies onto it.


Penny stacking – give the student 10 – 20 pennies and have them stack them one at a time on top of each other. Skills will vary with this activity – so have the student graph their accomplishments from day to day – the challenge is to add 1 more penny to their last previously graphed – you will notice that this one is not just a fine motor activity – but math too.


Penny Tracing is an excellent fine motor activity but is not a good activity for many very young preschoolers. Have the student trace pennies with a pen or pencil onto a piece of paper – these circles could be set up that they create snowmen or other objects with the drawings.


Penny counting – use small containers with lids – or zip style bags will work for this activity and provide an additional fine motor challenge. If using containers – write numbers on the side and have the student add the correct amount of pennies to each of the containers (either have the student remove the lid or you will need to cut a slit in the lid prior to doing this game. If using baggies – add a recipe card with a number written on it and place the card into each of the baggies. Have the student unzip the bag and add the correct amount of pennies – then zip the bag up using the thumb and index finger.


Of course there are many other games that can be created using pennies – this is only a few of them – just be creative.

Exercise Roll

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

This is such a fun way to get the kids moving …. and they want to do it!


First you will need to make some dice – use 2 – larger square boxes for this. You will need to decide appropriate exercises for your group of students – older kids can do considerably more activities than younger preschoolers. Whether you are choosing jumping jacks and running in place or doing an obstacle course as an option – choose carefully so that every person in your class can accomplish the task.


You will need 6 activities – Options could be windmills, toe touches, knee bends, knee hugs, arm circles…. even rolling on the floor. For younger students – words printed on the die may not be sufficient – create a picture of the activity – either print a picture off of the internet or use your great skill to ‘draw’ it (I personally am not a great artist – give me simple any day!) Paste the drawings onto the sides of the box.


The other box will need numbers printed on the sides – for older students – use numbers counted by 2 or 5 – but for the younger students that may lose interest quickly or have the need for ‘counting’ practice – number it 1 – 6.


Now you are ready to choose a student to be the first to roll the dice – example if the top sides says 3 and jumping jacks – then the students will need to do 3 jumping jacks. Have the students take turn rolling the exercise.

Ball Battle

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Okay, I am never one to encourage indoor throwing of items – but this game can be played inside or outside – and it is relatively safe for anyone to play.


Give each of the students an equal amount of quarter sheet paper scraps (newspaper works well too and is inexpensive). Have the students wad up each of the sheets into nice ‘soft’ balls.


Separate the students into two opposite sides. Ideally the ‘teams’ should be a minimum of 20 feet apart – indoors this may not be possible (it will also depend on the age of the students – preschoolers could be separated by as little as 3 – 5 feet). The space between the teams is considered to be a ‘no entry’ zone.


Set up a timer or use music – begin the music and have the students throw the soft balls across to each other ….. while the music or timer is still running – the students can pick up all of the balls that have landed on their side and throw back to the opposite side.


When the timer has went off (or the music) – have each team count how many paper balls have landed on their side.

The game can stop at this point …. or a score can be kept …. and the side with the least amount of balls wins. Older kids may want to play that the team that reaches 100 or even 500 first – loses.

The Freeze Dance

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

You played it when you were a kid …. but this is a new variation of the same game.


You need something to play fun music (if able to create a collage of styles – it is even more fun – Use music with varying rhythms – slow to super fast)


Play the music and have the students do silly dances and movements – when you stop the music they need to freeze in place ….. remember this game now?


The variation is that you will take pictures of the students immediately when the music stops.


After playing and photographing this game for a little while ….. have a review of the photos and discuss the pics. (Make sure you have taken an equal amount of photos for each student – of course).


The students love this game and if you can print off a picture (in black and white – more affordable) of each of the student’s funniest pose as a surprise for the parents (or guardians) – the parents and students can have a great memento for the day and this can inspire further discussion of the activity at home.

Special Days

Saturday, October 16th, 2010


Have a special day every week. Children (like adults) love to have something to look forward to doing.


The special days can be something as simple as Bubble Day ….. Set up a bubble table and have the children see how many bubbles they can fill up the room with (while blowing several bubble sticks – everyone at the same time).


Another would be ‘Plane’ Day – Make paper airplanes and fly them around the room or outdoors. Have contests to see which will fly the farthest or the fastest.


Have a book party – everyone bring their favorite short read – provide a special snack and take turns reading. Another option would be to read a book that has a coordinating movie – read the book first – then watch the movie during rest time and discuss it afterwards.


Backwards Day is always popular – wear your clothes backwards, come to school in pajamas, eat dessert first, have rest time before lunch – anything that gets the kids giggling.


Favorite Toy Day – Let everyone bring their favorite toy to play with during free time.


There are so many options – you could have a different special day every week for the entire year without repeating the event.


Some additional suggestions:

Camping Day


Beach Party

Art Fair

Grown-up Day

Do something Special Day

Song Day

Fashion Show

Hat Day

Favorite Cartoon Day

Circus Day

Luau Day

Pajama Party

Puppet Day


and so many more!

Unique Picture Puzzles

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

 This is a fun puzzle (visual discrimination activity) set. Take a snap shot of each student – print off a small picture of each student (no larger than 2” squared). Create individualized name to picture puzzles by pasting each photo onto a recipe type of card – photo on the left side and the student’s name on the right side. Cut a zig-zag line down the center of each card (make sure the lines on each card are unique). Now the students can practice recognizing their own name and their classmates names with these fun (yet simple) puzzles.

Hello World!

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!

A Spin on Hot Potato

Thursday, October 14th, 2010
Have the students sit in a circle – Provide a bag with 
lots of funny clothing items in it.  Play some music 
and have the students pass the bag around the circle.  
Stop the music – the person with the bag must reach 
into the bag (without looking) and pull out an article 
of clothing and put it on over their other clothing.  Then 
begin the music again and pass the bag... repeat the 
process until the bag is empty.  
When everything has been put on – discuss which 
person looks the funniest with the wacky clothes or 
which person has the most pieces on …... 
This game is a lot of fun especially in Phys. Ed.

It’s Magic

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

This is a great pretend game to get the imagination flowing.


Provide a hat, cape, jacket …. or any item that can be worn safely. Tell the students that it is magic and will let them pretend to be anything they would like to be. Have a student put the item on and pretend to be something or someone different …. have the other students in the room take turns guessing what that student is. After everyone has had a turn or the student identifies what they are … it is then the next student’s turn.


This is a fun game and can be theme directed even. Example – The theme is ‘safety’ – the students can be a fire hydrant, police person, fire person or even an emergency vehicle! Have Fun with it.

Framework Recommendations

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

This list was compiled awhile ago but is still very pertinent today. It includes many of the recommended guidelines for preschool to early kindergarten leveled curriculum.